What affect will the Prime Minister’s roadmap have on my wedding?
Many couples have been left in limbo regarding whether or not their wedding this year will go ahead as planned. The Prime Minister’s announcement in the House of Commons on 22 February 2021 provided a guide to the lifting of the current restrictions.
The ‘roadmap’, which is subject to change, confirms that from 12 April 2021 weddings of up to 15 people will be able to take place, with the number of allowed guests increasing to 30 from 17 May 2021. The Prime Minister stated that the government hopes to be able to remove all legal restrictions on weddings from 21 June 2021.
As above, these dates are subject to change and assume that the following four conditions are met:
- The vaccine programme continues to go to plan;
- Evidence shows the vaccines are reducing deaths and numbers requiring hospital treatment;
- Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospital admissions; and
- New variants of the virus do not change the risk of lifting restrictions.
The announcement will be disappointing for couples, venues and suppliers with weddings planned in the coming months may have hoped that weddings could take place with larger numbers. Many couples have already postponed weddings from last year and many couples will now be looking to either rearrange their wedding or seek a refund.
Can I cancel my wedding?
If due to the coronavirus lockdown restrictions your wedding is unable to take place, or if your wedding would arguably be very different to what was originally agreed (for example dramatically reduced guest numbers) then you may be able to argue that the wedding contract has been frustrated.
Frustration is where, due to no fault of either party to the contract, performance of the contract can no longer be fulfilled. When a contract is frustrated the consumer is entitled to a refund and no further payments would be due, this includes ‘non-refundable’ deposits. Although venues/suppliers may be able to deduct some costs if these have already been incurred for organising the wedding, the CMA are clear however which costs can and cannot be recovered and that any costs should be reasonable.
How can Ellis Jones help?
Since the start of the pandemic we have assisted many couples whose weddings have been postponed or cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions, as well as suppliers who are concerned about the enforceability of their contracts, to come to resolve disputes concerning these important events. If you would like advice on how best to deal with the situation, please contact our Dispute Resolution team by emailing Henrietta.Dunkley@ellisjones.co.uk or Leah.Sharman@ellisjones.co.uk to discuss your case and how we may be able to assist.